Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cruise News: It’s A Family Affair! Get A Look At The Festive Royal Princess Float-out Ceremony

Princess Cruises President and CEO Alan Buckelew,
Royal Princess Madrina Victoria Nash, Royal Princess
 Captain Tony Draper and Captain Nick Nash
 celebrate the float out of Royal Princess.
With a dash of history and one family’s touching memories marking it as a very meaningful occasion, Princess Cruises’ newest ship, Royal Princess, reached a significant construction milestone this week when the vessel was “floated out” at its building dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. A traditional float-out ceremony was highlighted by a participant with a unique tie to the ship and the unveiling of a special ship’s bell.

Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew and Royal Princess Captain Tony Draper attended the event, as did long-time Princess master Captain Nick Nash and his daughter, Victoria, who served as the ship’s “madrina” (or “godmother”). Following the Italian shipyard’s tradition, the float out of a ship is celebrated when the madrina cuts the cord that begins the flow of water into the ship’s dock. Victoria Nash was chosen to serve as madrina because she has a special connection to the first Royal Princess—as a baby, she was christened aboard the first Royal Princess (after the ship itself was originally christened by the late Princess Diana a dozen years earlier in 1984).

“The original Royal Princess left our fleet some time ago, but we wanted to bring the spirit of that much-loved ship, also a prototype design, to the new Royal Princess,” said Buckelew during the ceremony. “And who better to do that than Victoria, who has grown up into a beautiful young lady who will now have a special connection with both vessels.”

As is tradition, the ship’s bell was used as her christening bowl during that ceremony and Victoria’s name was subsequently engraved inside the bell to commemorate the occasion. Thanks to the Nash family, this same bell will be aboard the new Royal Princess. At the christening in 1996 and pictured here: from left, now Captain Nick Nash, Sue Nash, Baby Victoria, and now Captain Alan Wilson

“Captain Nash was presented with the ship’s bell from our original Royal Princess following its decommissioning, and we are delighted that he has very generously offered this bell to be placed aboard our new Royal Princess, in honor of his daughter,” said Buckelew. “Thank you Nick, for this wonderful gift.”

The two day float-out process involves slowly letting water into the building dock to set the vessel afloat. The ship is then moved to the outfitting dock where final construction and interior outfitting will take place until the ship debuts in June 2013. Take a look at the event below.

The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms. The ship’s 2013 maiden season will include cruises on the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean itinerary throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the fall.

Image and Video Courtesy of Princess Cruises


Melbourne Cruises said...

Thats quite an impressive ceremony as is evident from the pictures.

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

It certainly was!